A community mourns the loss of a long time football coach. Bob Raczek lost his battle with cancer Sunday. He was the head coach at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point for more than 40 years. Now, those close to him are remembering the man he was on and off the field.
"He is Pacelli football," said Pacelli Athletic Director John Raflik.
"You can have football coaches, basketball coaches and baseball coaches, but when you talk about Coach around Pacelli, it's Coach Raczek," added Assistant Football Coach Dave Wysocki.
Coach Bob Raczek was Pacelli's high school football head coach for 46 years. He's one of the most successful coaches in the history of state high school football
"He always got the most out of every player," said Raflik.
But, in 2005 Coach Razcek received news that changed his life. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"A lot of people would be like, oh woe is me type thing, be really down on themselves, but he never really used that as an excuse," explained Raflik.
Instead, Coach went on to win his third state championship, that same year. It was just months after he was diagnosed. It was also his 300th win as head coach.
"It wasn't just about football, it's about learning about life," said Wysocki.
"He was the type of coach that if you needed a kick in the butt he would do that to you, but also the type where if he needed to put his arm around you, he would," added Raflik.
On Sunday Coach Raczek died. He had fought his battle with cancer for eight years.
an empty spot in your heart right now that he's not here," said
Raflik. "It's a devastating loss. It's one of those things, you knew it was
coming but you never hoped it would."
But in true Coach Raczek fashion, coaches and players say they still have a job to do.
"It's the way coach would have wanted it. He would say, hey you guys have something to do, it's time to practice football," said Wysocki.
So as the team hits the field for a new season and a new chance for success, they'll remember their coach. The only "Coach" in the Pacelli family.
"Thanks for everything, Coach," said Wysocki. "You'd get that 1,000 times if you interviewed 1,000 people."